This Code sets out the principles which guide police officers’ conduct. It does not seek to restrict officers’ discretion: rather, it aims to define the parameters of conduct within which that discretion should be exercised. However, it is important to note that any breach of the principles in this Code may result in action being taken by the organisation, which, in serious cases, could involve dismissal.
A police officer should also advise you, as a suspect of a crime, that your right to legal advice can be exercised at any time during the period of arrest, which is also sometimes referred to as ‘detention’. The police should provide you with a written notice of your rights while attending a police station and advise you of tyour right to provided with a copy of the custody record upon release from detention.
The public are asking more questions now than ever before about the police use of Taser and what it means for policing and protecting the public. There are many different views on it, and it is regularly debated and discussed in the media and across social media.
Section 7 of the Data Protection Act 1998 gives you the right to find out what personal information the UK criminal justice system, including police forces, might hold about you. A request for your personal information is called a subject access request. It does not cover criminal records checks for employment purposes, known as a DBS check (previously a CRB check).
Section 38 of the Police Reform Act 2002 (“Act”) enables chief officers of police to designate any person who is employed by the police authority and is under the direction and control of that chief officer as a ‘community support officer’. The term ‘community support officer’ is widely used to describe a variety of staff from differing agencies fulfilling a community safety function.
People sometimes ask about the status of Police Information Notices (PINs) which the police may issue where there are allegations of harassment. These notices (sometimes called Harassment Warning Notices) are not covered by legislation, and don’t themselves constitute any kind of formal legal action.
A new Code setting out policing principles and standards of professional behaviour for members of the policing profession raises questions around how incidents of minor misconduct will be dealt with. Its purpose is said to be to bring the policing profession in line with other professions with such a code and to define expectations for members of the profession.